Why Smriti Irani deserves our respect for Child Pornography Bill

12th July 2019

12th July 2019

Child Pornography Bill: A welcome move

Paedophilia, or to treat children as sex objects, is rampant around you and please don’t be disgusted by the suggestion.

If you are a man, you are likely to troll me on twitter if I told you paedophiles are gender-specific and there is even a film, Are All Men Pedophiles, which has been critically acclaimed.

Still unconvinced? A fan of Michael Jackson? Go to YouTube and look for Pedophilia content available. Not only a few have generated millions of views but--put it to the disgusting times we live in--this content is supported by some of the biggest brands on the planet.

Most Indian newspapers today have taken note of the new bill—Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Amendment Bill 2019—which would be introduced in the Lok Sabha this week. But the coverage is passing, a token display of news, rather than a 360 degree view and a standing ovation to Women and Child Development minister Ms. Smriti Irani whose initiative in this regard would protect your or mine child.

The new law is specific: “Any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which include photographs, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and an image created, adapted or modified but appear to depict a child.”

So those who watch, possess or circulate animations or cartoons that depict a minor to satisfy their depraved cravings, do it at your own peril. The punishment involves five-fold increase in fines and even imprisonment.

So far, neither Section 67 of the IT Act nor Section 293 of the Indian Penal Code defined child pornography. This new initiative is borne out of the resolve of zero tolerance for child pornography.

Coming back to YouTube, type “Girl Yoga” and the auto-complete option is likely to throw up “hot”. Enter “twister girl” and the suggestion includes “twister girl in skirt.” These videos would have millions of views, thousands of comments, and hundreds of time-stamps recommendations for fellow sick individuals. Phone numbers are exchanged,  promises of WhatsApp video swaps are made. Jerks talk of how one such video makes his “wood” grow. The video uploaders make hay, so do YouTube, as there are pre-roll adverts from the likes of Fiat, L’Oreal, Maybelline and SingleMuslim.com etc. In essence, money made in filth on young unprotected lives.

Most videos are of little girls—doing gymnastics, eating ice-lollies are playing in the pool. Their exposed buttocks or nipples or crotch are getting tens of thousands of views and depraved comments. YouTube says it has zero tolerance for such stuff but neither their algorithms nor ingenuous uploaders are being reined in. Advertisers too say they are outraged but that’s about it. Further, if you watch one video, there are dozens of similar recommended by YouTube. Same is the case with Microsoft “Bing” or WhatsApp though both assert they have zero-tolerance on the issue.

Innocent children are increasingly the target of these monsters in our neighbourhood. Psychologists say children are cognitively, emotionally and socially less developed than an adult and could face life-time scar.

A few statistics to drive home the sordid point:

(a)   Paedophilia, as per stats, is exploding in the United States and showing a 2500 per cent increase since last decade;

(b)   Two-thirds of sex criminals are paedophiles;

(c)    The US Justice Department feels there are nearly 3 lakh such vulnerable kids at the mercy of paedophiles/pornographers;

In India, hold your breath, paedophilia actually bloats up our tourism industry. Despite governments, NGOs and other bodies, child abuse is rampant in India. Over 35 million children are homeless in India. The National Women’s Commission is on record that almost 80 per cent of the child prostitutes in the country come from Bangalore. The coastal areas in Calangute, Candolin and Baga in Goa are paedophiles’ den. Kovalam in Kerala and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu suffer from the same malaise.

It’s been a generation since Freddy Peats, an Anglo-Indian, caught headlines in 1991 for forcing young boys into homosexual activities. Investigations revealed he was running a paedophile den and catering mainly to German tourists. Nobody has forgotten Sunil Rastogi, allegedly world’s worst paedophile, who confessed to having sex with over 500 children and a fetish for “virgins.”

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